1: Ouninpohja: the return of the king
Back for the first time since 2007 and back at its best with no chicanes and maximum airtime. Fine and fast roads are nothing new in Finland, but this one is quite possibly the finest and fastest of them all. A stage so good, Colin McRae named his racehorse after it.
2: Sebastian Lindholm’s back
Finns have their own hero called Sebastian... Lindholm not Loeb returns to his home round of the World Rally Championship for the first time in five years. And this will be his 22nd attempt at the event - a celebration of his 51st birthday. Can he beat the fourth place he scored in 1997? The cheering masses will be hoping so.
3: Lappi looking to turn
Twenty-one-year-old Esapekka Lappi has forgotten how not to win rallies. He has won every one of the five Finnish Rally Championship rounds he’s started this season and this week he’s gunning for his first SWRC win. He contested his home WRC round in a Citroen C2 R2 last season... and won his class.
4: Atkinson back for more French food
Three years ago Chris Atkinson impressed hugely with a one-off Citroen C4 WRC drive on Rally Ireland, finishing fifth overall. And now he’s back in one of the Versailles-built machines on the high-speed gravel thriller. Watch the Queenslander fly, last time he was here - with Subaru in 2008 - he was on the podium.
5: The classic Finnish weather
After two years of pretty much wall-to-wall sunshine and insanely high temperatures, mixed conditions have returned to Finland. As much as we like the sunshine, occasional showers and changing grip levels are as much a part of this rally as cars flying through the air, vodka and makkara, the traditional Finnish sausage.